Gender-neutral toys? Are they the newest trend in the parents of today?
Everyone is constantly bombarded with ads on TV, social media, and radio of the new latest and greatest must-have items. It could be anything from baby dolls to nerf guns, but the biggest question is, who is it that decides these toys should be marketed towards boys or girls?
Is it us as parents? The media? Toy producers themselves?
Gender isn’t specific in our individual preferences when it involves what sort of playthings we would love to play with. Even if it’s a toy for one gender, that doesn’t necessarily imply the opposite sex would not want it.
When young siblings engage in play who are of different genders do they shun toys meant for the opposite sex? Most likely the answer to that question is no.
When action figures and dolls began being sold after all the superhero movies became popular, wouldn’t both genders want one? Do children care that Superman is man? The only problem is, girls could certainly be looked at oddly for wanting a “boy” toy and vice versa.
When in all reality, other peoples opinion’s shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when making any kind of purchase. If my child or I knew a little boy who desired a Barbie doll or any other type of “girl” plaything, I would fully accept that as well as let them get it.
Unfortunately, since we don’t get a say in the selection of what sex we will be born as, neither should our children be limited in their interests no matter their gender.
All this is doing is reinforcing the gender typing in the world. Gender typing is the process by which a child becomes aware of their gender and thus behaves accordingly by adopting values and attributes of members of the sex that they identify as their own.
Some would argue that this process is important for a child’s social and personality development because it largely impacts the child’s understanding of expected social behavior and influences social judgments.
But this also creates the pattern that children will assume that it’s not alright to have playthings the other sex has. It’s silly, if it’s something they enjoy they ought to have the option to have it as a toy.
Shaming children for their choice of entertainment and play is terrible. If they like it, let them like it. If more toys were in say a gender-neutral toy aisle then it wouldn’t even be a discussion.
One gender is not superior to the other, and we are all on this earth for such a short period. We should all be able to show our individuality much more without fear of judgment as well as be able to present ourselves as we want. I think many people would certainly be happier as well.
When you go from boys to girls aisles at any kind of store that sells toys, they’re generally 2 whole different worlds apart. One will be strongly decorated with brilliant colors, while the various other is darker and also features more “manly” colors. If a young boy desires something with a pink shade, so be it! Allow him to do as he wants, and the same goes for the girls.
When I was growing up, I’d always most likely be found in kids’ isle but on the boy side, they had cool dinosaurs, Legos, and trains. Sure, I had fun with Barbie’s, but these other toys couldn’t be found over in the girl’s area. I would like to think that stores still only separate toys based on gender as a way to help parents quickly decide on a toy based on the general tastes of the majority of the public, and not completely out of their foolish ignorance.
Children ought to be able to express themselves as whatever they wish to be, and also show off who they are as an individual still learning to find themselves. Let sexism not just in toys but in everyday life end soon. Women can be exceptional mechanics and just men can be amazing makeup artists.
If it is among their interests and they wish to peruse it, let them do it! Watch them and appreciate them as they excel at something that is “feminine” or “manly.”
If they want the toy that resides in the girl’s aisle, go get it! Don’t allow peer pressure to stop you. If you like it, don’t let other peoples opinions stop you or your child in their tracks.